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FILIP PALDA, my missing friend

9 Septembre 2017 , Rédigé par André Boyer Publié dans #ENGLISH VERSION

FILIP PALDA, my missing friend


If you want to know who Filip Palda is, you first need to make Palda’s acquaintance. Filip was born on May 12, 1962 in Montreal, from Isabelle and Kristian Palda.


Isabelle came from Bedford, Quebec and was raised by the Ursulines. From the moment that she  met Kristian until her death  in arms of Kristian on July 6, 2016, she  surrounded him with all her love. I liked Isabelle very much. She was rightly proud of her children, Filip and Valerie, and of her husband Kristian, famous for his excellent research.

Kristian comes from a large industrial family who, deeply took part  in the Czechoslovak Republic. He escaped from Czechoslovakia while he was studying, due to the threat of the communist regime's police.

Kristian is brilliant. In the United States and then in Canada, he rebuilds completely his life, resumed his studies and became a professor at Queen's, a great professor of economics and management.

In Kingston, Palda family formed a perfect family, Isabelle, Kristian, Filip and Valerie. At least, in my eyes.

Filip was devoted to his family: to his parents, his wife Maria and his stepmother Raisa. Kristian and Filip, beyond the fact that they were father and son, had one thing in common: intellectual freedom. Kristian knows everything, understands everything with a rare intellectual freedom. He does not limit himself to ‘politically correct’ discussions or thinking.  On the contrary, Kristian detects them immediately. Filip was quite the same. Father and son had exchanges of information quite on everything as both were interested in everything!

Filip was very attentive to Isabelle who had conducted her home with affection, prudence and authority. During the last years of Isabelle’s life, Filip was unquiet about his mother’s difficulties. Filip was constantly present to help Isabelle. He constantly toke a nursing trip between Ottawa-where he was living-and Kingston. Despite his exhausted trips, he never forgot his wife nor his intellectual work. Like Kristian, Filip also was a professor at university.

I will describe Filip outside his academic position. Surely, he was brilliant, though he has not yet been fully recognised. You and I, both know that recognition needs time.

I have known Filip, Isabelle and Valerie by Kristian. I had spent several summers in Kingston where I taught at Queen's. Kristian invited me. I have known Filip, when he was doing his studies in Chicago. Then he became a professor at different Canadian universities, and finally he had been settling at Enap. I first, had started to discuss with Kristian, then with Isabelle, Filip, Valerie, finally with the whole family.  My family came to Kingston during theses summers.

Understanding Filip needs first of all an understanding of Palda’s family:  a Catholic, intelligent, free, solid, friendly family. I do not know in which order I have to write these adjectives.

Filip left after Isabelle had left. This is already the second part of the Palda family that have left me. We knew this is life, but it's too hard!

It's simple to understand that they were, that they are part of my big family, that they have left me and, of course, I have tears in my eyes. It's silly, I know, but I liked Filip very much. I discovered with him Tim's Hortons, Costco as well as the subtlest politico-economic reflections. I invited him to teach at the IECS in Strasbourg where I was Dean, I read his books, I made the project to translate one of them, I visited with him the aviation museum in Ottawa, I slept at his home and I enjoyed the warmth of his home. I was walking with him for several hours, while we were exchanging endlessly. Thanks to him, his friendly and his determined perseverance, I had become an invited Professor at ENAP and started to dream about a possible settlement in Canada.

Life can be short and a problem never comes alone. It has first started by Flip sickness, then Isabelle's departure. All the links were, step by step, suspended when these catastrophes buried them under the blue pale sky of Kingston. Filip had sent me several films of Kingston taken by his drone, his neighbourhood, his street and his family. A drone which at the end was flying over his life, more and more fragile. I have never liked these films: they were so melancholic, so nostalgic.

I do not anymore dare to see them any more; I did not dare anymore to call them.  What I was waiting for?  Waiting for the worst that I did not want to confess?

And here it is.

With Filip gone, a part of my Canada is gone.

What do you want me to write more? To pay tribute to his work? I do not think this is the right time. Moreover, I published a blog written by Filip on Gary Becker, on November 12, 2014, at a time when the disease secretly covered. You want me to write that he was a great guy? Yes, he was a great guy, but it is too late to write it now, it's indeed too late.

I'll just write down what I feel. Filip was someone too good, too generous, too sensitive and too intelligent to live in the world of brutes where he was living. So he was sacrificing himself deeply to the people he loved, until he understood he had nothing more to give. At this moment, when he became sure that he had done all he could, he left.

What I have just written, you can be sure that I won’t wrote it for many people. This Sunday, at the church of Puget-Théniers, we had a Mass for Filip and Isabelle at the request of Kristian. Thus, the bond is still maintained, in spite of everything.

But let's see. If this note can be used for something, it is to understand this: I liked very much Filip and now he has gone, it's too late, I can not give him anymore anything, he can not give me anything anymore. Except I'll read him again.

Also this note can be used to understand that friendship, affection that you share with someone is the most precious thing that you have in this life. Do not waste it, do not neglect your friends and above all for God sake, do not get angry with your friend.


Live your friendship to the end, for sure the end will come and then there will be nothing left for you, as if friendship was only a scrap of paper burning, flying into the great Canadian wind on August 24, 2017, through the window of a hospital in Toronto...

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I recently learned that Filip had passed away. I was devastated. Filip was my professor at ENAP. A wonderful and caring person. He had supervised my thesis and after that helped me during the time I was looking for a job overseas. I will never stop thanking him for his personal involvement and encouragement until I got a job. We will keep praying for him and his family. May he rest in eternal peace. Always grateful. My regards to his sister.
I was very touched by your comment about the passing of Filip Palda. I'll pass your message on to Valerie Palda.
with my best wishes
André Boyer
I was a friend of Filip's from Chicago. I just learned of his passing after looking for him to share comments with him about the death of Czech singer Karel Gott (I remember receiving a very funny email from Filip about the communist-turned-capitalist). Wow! Now I know why he didn't answer my last email pertaining to documents that I found regarding his family's property in Prague. I am so saddened by the news of Filip's passing. Please give my regards to his family.
Hello Cathleen.
I was a friend of Filip and of his father, Kristian. Now they are dead, Filip before Kristian and before Filip, Isabelle his mother. In few years, all the family disappeared, except Valery, the sister of Filip.
Your warm feelings about Filip is a consolation.
Best regards,
André Boyer
I only recently learned that Filip had died. He and I worked together at The Fraser Institute; his office was right beside mine. In the time I knew him, I don't think I heard him say an unkind word about anyone. I certainly never heard him raise his voice in anger or frustration. He was, simply, one of the most kind, genuine people I have ever met.
Thank you George, his family wlll be informed of your testimony